Boston Celtics would have to trade one of top six players to land $18 million guard

In order to acquire an $18 million per season wing likely to hit the trade block, the Boston Celtics would have to deal away one of their top six players.

Dec 29, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) is fouled by LA
Dec 29, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) is fouled by LA / Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
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MassLive's Brian Robb believes there's "no shot" that the Boston Celtics will land Norman Powell ahead of the trade deadline should the Los Angeles Clippers make him available -- the reason being that the Cs would need to give up one of their top six players to make it happen.

"He would be a great fit but I’d put it at no shot due to this contract," Robb prefaced in his answer to a reader about a Powell pursuit before saying, "It’s hard to foresee any trade for the Celtics for a player making over $10 million with the team’s salary limitations for trade matching. If you want a player like Norm Powell, you would have to trade one of your top 6 guys and I don’t think that makes the Celtics a better team at this point."

Robb believes Boston is far more likely to make a smaller deal using their Grant Williams traded player exception created by his sign-and-trade to the Dallas Mavericks in the offseason.

"Lower priced contracts that could fit into the Grant Williams TPE are the far more realistic scenario for the next couple of months," Robb wrote.

Russell Westbrook also off the table for the Boston Celtics

One may take a gander at L.A.'s cap sheet and find a more impactful player at a fraction of the rate Powell costs in Russell Westbrook. But Robb shut down the idea of Westbrook in a Celtics jersey as well during his December 1 Mailbag.

"I just don’t think (Westbrook's) a winning player at this point in his career, especially for a contender," Robb wrote. "Even in a bench role, his aggression backfires more often than it helps. He is shooting just 43 percent from the field and 25 percent from 3-point range this year and is just 30.5 percent from 3-point range in his career. Despite that, he still takes nearly four attempts per game, a sign of his maddening shot selection. He was able to get away with that earlier in his career thanks to what he brought to the team across the board but his athletic decline has exposed his faults even more."

It's clear that any addition the Celtics make ahead of the 2024 postseason will be to complement Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kristaps Porzingis, Jrue Holiday, Derrick White, and Al Horford. Not bring on someone who will incessantly take the ball out of all their hands.